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Modernism and the Spiritual in Russian Art

Louise Hardiman
Nicola Kozicharow


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1Sebastian Borkhardt studied History of Art, East Slavonic Philology, and Religious Studies in Tübingen and St Petersburg. After completing his MA, he began doctoral research at the University of Tübingen. His dissertation examines the role of the Russian roots of Vasily Kandinsky in the reception of the artist’s work in Germany and is supervised by Professors Eva Mazur-Keblowski (Tübingen) and Ada Raev (Bamberg). Borkhardt has received scholarships from the State Graduate Funding (Landesgraduiertenförderung) of Baden-Württemberg and the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). His research interests include modernism, with a particular focus on Russian art, as well as reception history, human-animal studies, and contemporary museum practice. Borkhardt is a member of the Russian Art and Culture Group based at Jacobs University in Bremen ( and co-editor of the 2017 issue of Experiment: A Journal of Russian Culture which is dedicated to the memory of Dmitry Sarabyanov.

2Jennifer Brewin is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research, supervised by Dr Rosalind Polly Blakesley, explores the interaction of painting and national politics in Soviet Georgia under Stalin. Her research interests include all areas of Russian and Soviet art. She received her MA in History of Art from The Courtauld Institute of Art (2011) and her BA in Russian and History of Art from the University of Bristol (2008). She is a member of the advisory board of the Courtauld Cambridge Russian Art Centre (CCRAC). Her research is funded by the Lander PhD Studentship at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

3Nina Gurianova is Associate Professor at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Comparative Literary Studies Program at Northwestern University (USA). Her scholarship in the fields of literature and art history encompasses both Russian and European modernist and avant-garde movements, with a specific emphasis on the interrelation of aesthetics and politics. She has authored and edited six books on the Russian avant-garde and published extensively in Europe, the United States, and Russia. Gurianova served as the primary exhibition consultant for the Guggenheim Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and participated in the organisation of many exhibitions. Gurianova’s most recent book, The Aesthetics of Anarchy (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012) won the AATSEEL Best Book in Literary/Cultural Studies annual award. Her research was supported by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University, the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, the William F. Milton Fund, IREX, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for Humanities. Currently she is working on a monograph, New Art and Old Faith, which explores in depth the themes outlined in her chapter.

4Louise Hardiman is an art historian specialising in nineteenth-and twentieth-century Russian art. She is a graduate of the universities of Oxford, London, and Cambridge, where she completed a PhD on the history of Russian Arts and Crafts in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Her primary research concerns the history of the ‘neo-national’ movement and Anglo-Russian cultural exchange. She was consultant and catalogue contributor for the exhibition A Russian Fairy Tale: The Art and Craft of Elena Polenova (Watts Gallery, Guildford, 2014–15), and is the editor of Elena Polenova, Why the Bear Has no Tail and other Russian Folk Tales (London: Fontanka, 2014) and The Story of Synko-Filipko and other Russian Folk Tales (London: Fontanka, forthcoming). In 2016–17 she held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art to work on her book The Firebird’s Flight: Russian Art in Britain, 1851–1917.

5Nicola Kozicharow is the Schulman Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and an Affiliated Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge. She is a specialist in nineteenth-and twentieth-century European and Russian art, and her current book project is entitled Visual Culture and the Construction of Russian Émigré Identity. Her research has recently been sponsored by the Getty Research Institute and the Likhachev Foundation. Kozicharow received her PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and holds an MA from University College London, and a BA in History of Art (Honors) and Slavic Studies from Brown University.

6Myroslava M. Mudrak is Emerita Professor of the History of Art at The Ohio State University. Her research centres on modernist art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special emphasis on avant-garde and abstract art in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Ukraine. Her primary interest is in the ideological discourses, socio-political influences, and artistic practices within East European cultures that use modernity to signify national identity. Mudrak has curated and produced catalogues for two historic exhibitions at The Ukrainian Museum in New York: Borys Kosarev: Modernist Kharkiv, 1915–31 (2012) and Staging the Ukrainian Avant-Garde 1910s–1920s (2015), the latter winning the prestigious Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions, under the auspices of the College Art Association in 2016. Mudrak’s publications include essays on Ukrainian Dada and Dissidence, Propaganda Pavilions, the Ukrainian Studio of Plastic Arts in Prague, Panfuturism, Constructivism, David Burliuk, and ‘Neue Slowenische Kunst and the Semiotics of Suprematism’. Her seminal work, New Generation and Artistic Modernism in Ukraine (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1986), soon to be published in a Ukrainian translation, was awarded the Kovaliw Prize for Ukrainian Studies.

7Natalia Murray has a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and prior to this she studied History of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg and completed the PhD course at the Hermitage Museum. In 2012 she wrote her monograph, The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde. The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin (1888–1953) (Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic, 2012). At present she is lecturing on nineteenth-and twentieth-century Russian art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, the Art Fund, and The Arts Society; she also works as head of education and public programmes at GRAD (Gallery for Russian Art and Design), and curates exhibitions of Russian art in England. She recently curated a major exhibition for the Royal Academy of Arts entitled Revolution: Russian Art 1917–32 (11 February–17 April 2017) and is now editing her next book, on the subject of post-revolutionary festivals in Petrograd.

8Wendy Salmond is Professor of Art and Art History at Chapman University, CA. She has written and lectured extensively on Russian and Soviet art, the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, and Russian modernism. Her current project is a book tracing transformations in the perception and function of icons in Russia, from objects of devotion to works of art. Salmond has been a guest curator of exhibitions at Hillwood Museum and Gardens, Washington, DC (Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, 2004) and The New York Public Library (Russia Imagined, 1825–1925: The Art and Impact of Fedor Solntsev, 2006). She is a prolific translator of texts on Russian art and culture, and has edited volumes on the sculptor Sergei Konenkov, the Bolshevik sales of Russian art in the 1920s and 1930s, and the reception of Art Nouveau in Russia.

9Oleg Tarasov is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. He has an MA in History and a PhD in History and Theory of Arts from Moscow State University and a PhD in History from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Tarasov is the author of Icon and Devotion. Sacred Spaces in Imperial Russia (London: Reaktion Books, 2002), Framing Russian Art: From Early Icons to Malevich (London: Reaktion Books, 2011), and Modern i drevnie ikony: Ot sviatyni k shedevru (Art Nouveau and Ancient Icons: From Sacred Object to Masterpiece) (Moscow: Indrik, 2016). He is also a consultant and catalogue contributor for many exhibitions including Picture and Frame (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 2014).

10Maria Taroutina is Assistant Professor of Art History at Yale–NUS College in Singapore. She received her PhD in 2013 from Yale University and has published a number of articles and essays on the art and architecture of Imperial and early Soviet Russia. She is also co-editor, with Roland Betancourt, of Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity (Leiden: Brill, 2015). Her first sole-authored book monograph, provisionally titled From the Tessera to the Square: Russian Modernism and the Russo-Byzantine Revival is forthcoming with Pennsylvania State University Press. It charts the rediscovery and reassessment of medieval Russian and Byzantine representation in Russia in the years 1860–1920. Currently, she is working on another edited volume, which will address new narratives and methodologies in Russian and Eastern European art.


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